Series 26 | Part 3: What’s In The RAISE Act?


Basically, Trump wants to stop bringing in people who don’t have the skills to find jobs. He wants to make sure they have a job offer lined up before they come here and that the job is in a field that is critical to the U.S. economy. For the most part, he’s focusing on STEM jobs.

He also wants to make sure that Americans with the right skills get jobs before an immigrant can get it. That goes for any job, not just STEM. He’s raising the salary requirement for that initial job offer so that companies decide it’s worth it to pay Americans instead.

Foreign Investments

He wants to let in people with at least $1.35 million dollars because he wants to foreigners to invest in America. He wants money to flow into this country and not out. He wants businesses to produce in the United States so that there’s a trade surplus instead of the trade deficit we’ve had for a long time.

He’s talked a lot about American businesses planning to outsource and deciding to change their mind because of him. We’ve also seen that Foxconn is planning to build a plant in Wisconsin. He’s also said that many American companies that already left will come back because his tax plan will causes business taxes to be lower than they are in Canada, Ireland, and others places those companies went. For example, Accenture moved its headquartered to Ireland. Even Apple dodges some taxes by parking profits in Ireland.

Additionally, he wants GDP to go up, and whether you’re an American company or a foreign company, producing here raises our GDP. The GDP equation is as follows: C+G+I+NX. The I stands for “investment,” and Trump’s plan to have companies invest here will help GDP. His plan to give this country a trade surplus will also help GDP because “NX” standards for “net exports,” which would be a positive number if we have a trade surplus. “G” stands for government spending, which he plans to cut dramatically, and “C” stands for consumption, which depends on how much money people spend at the store, how much disposable income they have after taxes and what not. That’s not just money they want to spend–it includes utilities and necessary goods like food–but it also includes that sweet new grill you really want. If you can afford to buy that grill, GDP goes up. If you can’t or if you choose to save because most of don’t have a lot, then GDP doesn’t go up at all.

Government Funding

Trump wants to stop using government funds to support people coming to this country. The RAISE Act eliminates a lot of people that might need affordable housing, healthcare, and typical additional help that you might need when you come here with nothing. Since you could apply to come here in your late 20’s with no education, no job offer, fluent English, and no highschool diploma with a better chance than someone 25 years old with a masters degree in STEM, fluent English and a job offer and $1.35 million with a better chance simply because you have $1.8 million, the government will be less likely to have to pay to keep you from being sick and homeless. That money is supposed to be invested in a new commercial enterprise, but that could turn a profit, and you could withdraw a reasonable salary for yourself and do well.

Save for later: An important part usually not discussed about the GDP equation is that government spending is net of taxation, but don’t freak out…we’ll talk about it later, I swear. So just forget about it for now. If you really wanna see the more weird-looking equation, look below. If not, close your eyes and scroll:

GDP = C + I + (G-T) + (X-M)

For reference, here’s the score of that younger person who has no high school degree but $1.8 million:


International Competitiveness

Trump also wants to ensure that the United States economy is way ahead of any other country. He thinks it’s ridiculous that China is so close to catching up and that other countries are modernizing while we’re growing at a slower pace. He wants this country to look beautiful, which is why he wants $1 trillion dollars for his Infrastructure Plan. Those projects generally go to local workers because you can’t outsource construction.

There has been some talk of bringing foreign workers to rebuild some of our infrastructure in the same way that one state might win a contract to build in a different state, but this time, the workers would come from other countries. It’s more likely that foreign companies would hire American workers than bring their own, and only China would really try hard to bring their own but would still likely be told to shove it. Moreover, Trump will likely be very reticent to allow blue-collar profits to benefit anyone but American companies and American workers, which the exception of any American companies that may have left already and who strike a deal to come back if he lowers taxes and gives them the contract.

He also wants to make sure that the United States is #1 in all industries, especially critical industries. Some of those industries are responsible for chemical engineering, telecommunications, defense, energy, and IT. There are others, but these are the ones that definitely need STEM-trained employees, and Trump would feel more comfortable if those employees were born here so that there isn’t even a hint of risk that some of those employees might not be loyal to the United States. He’s going to encourage businesses to stop hiring foreigners so he can get U.S. citizens trained and ready to succeed at jobs that businesses would hire Americans to do at a lower salary than he’d allow them to pay foreigners.


Finally, this one is the most egregious. The RAISE Act will be eliminating several groups of people that can come to the United States, and the determination as to whom will be eliminated seems highly focused on getting the United States ‘back to a simpler time.’

Trump wants to ensure that only members of a nuclear family, as we describe that, can help each other come here. If you’re already here, and you want a family member to come, you can apply for them, show evidence that you can support them, and so on, but only if the United States decides your family ties are close enough. If it’s common for grandparents to live in your home where you originated, Trump doesn’t seem to care. In American, that’s not common, and he thinks we should keep it that way. No uncles and aunts living with their nieces and nephews if the parents are able to take care of the kids. No grandparents living with their grandchildren either. Cousins? Forget it.

However, the RAISE Act does however add a provision that allows parents of U.S. citizens to come to the United States on a nonimmigrant W-visa on a temporary basis to visit their child, get medical care and so on. However, there’s no information as to whether that medical care must be paid out of pocket, can be paid through their child’s insurance, or will be provided by the government. The Act also doesn’t say whether these parents can hold temporary jobs, how they’d be taxed if they do so, whether they could invest in nonfinancial assets like real estate and commercial partnerships, whether they could run a business, and whether they could employ someone in that business within the stipulations of this new visa.

Trump also wants to end the Diversity Visa, which basically states that there’s a certain number of people that can come from each country on the planet, unless a country has already sent 50,000 or more people in the past 5 years. Historically, we’ve invited people in from everywhere. We’ve welcome everyone because that’s who we are. Trump seems to think that we should stop being who we are, that we should focus on who is already here for awhile until we start randomly letting more people in regardless of their qualifications. Additionally, he wants to reduce overall number of visas for any purpose, not just this one, by 50%, bringing the total from 675,000 to 337,500. He says that will bring legal immigration levels down to more historical levels.

Finally, he wants to limit refugees to 50,000 per year. The longest-standing mission of the United States has been to not only allow anyone to come in but to give priority those who would die if they didn’t come here. To be more specific, we bring in people who are trapped in the middle of a war, who are being threatened or attacked for their beliefs, who are being mistreated by their government, who are in need of urgent medical care unavailable in their country, who are suffering from natural disasters, and anyone else who is unable to survive without help. Trump has shown that he’s more cold and calculating than compassionate.

So what are the effects of all this?

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